March 2011 Solidarity Vigil After the earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, we watched the nuclear disaster unfold. Ten days later, Safe & Green convened a silent vigil at Vermont Yankee. 600 citizens stood in silent vigil, lining the road around Vermont Yankee’s gates for a half-mile on either side. Vermont Yankee is the same age and make (Mark 1 BWR) as those at Fukushima. Each year since, Safe and Green Campaign has held anniversary events to educate ourselves and to support the people of Fukushima, Japan.
Over 250 citizens performed a mock evacuation from the Yankee reactor, walking six miles into Brattleboro hauling suitcases and pushing strollers. After lunch, Arnie Gundersen and Chiho Kaneko gave presentations on the technical and personal affects of the disaster.
7 towns in VT, NH and MA “adopted” sister towns in Japan that have been evacuated or are hosting evacuees. Brattleboro adopted Namie, as both are 5 miles from reactors. Greenfield, Putney, Wendall, Amherst, and Hanover all adopted towns. Each created actions they designed, in their own towns. On Sunday, we gathered together at the gate of Vermont Yankee in silent vigil to honor the evacuees and the Fukushima workers.
Tour of Chikako Yishiyama 2013 to Fukushima-twin reactors in New England
This is the true story of Chikako, a woman who was on her town council who became a nuclear refugee. Kawauchi, her town, first hosted refugees then was itself evacuated because a plume of radiation from a nuclear reactor explosion covered her region. Chikako was inspired to visit the United States by our “Voices of Fukushima” solidarity events in 2012. Greenfield adopted Kawauchi. The towns people wrote messages of compassion to her hometown; had them translated, and then – miraculously, given the upheaval – they found their way into her hands.
March 2014 Chiho Kaneko and Films After watching a discussing a few short documentary clips on the status of Fukushima and its evacuees, Chiho Kaneko gave a moving presentation on the efforts of the US to force Japan to adopt nuclear power following World War II. Her talk became the basis for this Fairewinds video, Bringing the Focus Back on Life.
Fukushima: 4 Years and Counting (2015): Walk from VT Yankee to Vigil in Brattleboro’s Pliny Park to Presentations at Centre Congregational Church. (cancelled due to weather).
Fukushima 5: After our vigil in Pliny Park we walked silently through the Saturday Farmers Market and the streets of Brattleboro. Click here for OpEds, Articles & Photos
Fukushima 7: Our vigil was filmed by Maria Dominquez of BCTV. There is still no end in sight or hope for the evacuees. https://www.brattleborotv.org/fukushima-remembered-rally-pliny-park-31118